Lords debate Children Bill changes

The government has insisted the proposed children’s commissioner
will be independent enough, and rejected Lords’ amendments to
change the reporting arrangements for the post.

Baroness Cathy Ashton, the Sure Start minister, told the House
of Lords the children’s commissioner will be independent enough to
function effectively even though the postholder will be accountable
to education secretary Charles Clarke.

The Lords were debating the bill in its committee stage and
discussing 250 amendments.

Baroness Ashton did accept one important amendment which means
the commissioner will have to take the UN Convention on the Rights
of the Child into account when considering children’s rights.

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